May 2012 Training Tracks - Wiki
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May 2012 Training Tracks
Hi fellow SEND-ers,
In this edition:
- Your definition of success
- SEND U logo update
- CernySmith assessment available
- Spiritual formation for missionaries
Definition of success. One of the assignments in the MOP-up program is to revisit our definition of success for our first term of missionary service. During MOP, we ask each missionary to reflect on the words of the master in the parable of the talents: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" We all want to hear those words at the end of our lives. But we also desire to know that God is pleased with our service NOW! What does it mean to be a good and faithful servant of the Master's during our first term as missionaries, when we are still so limited in our language fluency and cultural understanding? So we ask each of our MOPers to complete this sentence: I believe that God will be pleased with my first term if at the end of the term .... During MOP-up, each new missionary, now with a couple of years of mission experience, comes back to that question, and determines whether they still agree with what they wrote back in MOP.
Of course, the question is important to all of us, regardless of whether we are in our first term or fifth term. What does the Master really expect of me over the course of a missionary career? With the gifts, experience, training, and strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit that He has given me, what does it mean to be faithful? We need to align our expectations of ourselves and our goals with what God is looking for. I have been thinking about this question at various times over the past 5 years, and am starting to share some of the conclusions in a series of blog posts at http://sendutraining.blogspot.com/. I invite you to read these posts, and give me your feedback. You are welcome to disagree. The first post was back on March 16, then April 10, April 20, and April 26. More to come.
SEND U logo. Thanks to all who submitted ideas for the SEND U logo. The Leadership Team looked at all the submissions, and decided that for the purpose of communication within creative access countries, they did not want a logo that resembles the SEND logo or identifies SEND U as a mission organization. But they saw some possibilities in a variety of ideas submitted, and so have asked the Media Department to create a hybrid of sorts. So the winner of our little contest may be more than just one person. I will wait to see what Keith Baum and his crew come up with before I decide who gets the prize.
CernySmith Assessment. I received a number of requests last month for the MinistryStyles Visual Personality Assessment, and I am thankful that SEND U did not spend the money on the annual licence for naught. Dave and JoAnn Loewen have purchased the licence for another type of assessment and they are willing to allow the mission membership to benefit from this tool. The CernySmith Assessments (CSA) are "online assessments that measure stress in 5 major areas: Organizational, Cross-Cultural, Relational, Personal, and Behavioral as it relates to the adjustment and well being of people living and working cross-culturally." The Loewens are able to offer this assessment, and even better a personal debriefing session afterwards, at no cost to you. If you are interested in assessing how well you are dealing with the stress of cross-cultural life, please write JoAnn Loewen (firstname.lastname@example.org). The CSA is also a part of the MOP-up program.
Spiritual Formation for Missionaries. These days I am reading "Godly Servants: Discipleship and Spiritual Formation for Missionaries", by David Teague. I really enjoyed Dr. Teague's article on the spiritual formation of mission leaders in the April edition of EMQ, and in an email correspondence with the author, I learned about his new book just published this year. The Kindle edition is only $2.99. "The purpose of GODLY SERVANTS is to help evangelical missionaries to deepen their Christian spirituality. While many books are now available about spiritual formation, little has been written specifically for missionaries. ... Dr. David Teague served as a missionary in the Middle East and is now a seminary lecturer and pastor." The book deals not only with deepening one's personal communion with God, but also spiritual formation in the context of a covenant community and incarnational ministry. To get a taste of what this book is about, you can look at my Kindle highlights here.
living in Kiev, Ukraine